With flu season upon us, it’s more important than ever to keep our immune systems strong and our bodies hydrated, in addition to getting enough rest. When your body feels the first inklings of sickness, your natural response might be to start popping vitamin C tablets or clutch onto mugs of Lemsip for dear life. When it comes to your skin, warding off that tired, dull complexion from feeling under-the-weather isn’t so different.

If you want to keep a bright, healthy complexion even when you’re feeling down and exhausted from a bad cold, look to these vitamin C-packed remedies that will pep up the skin. As a natural antioxidant and with a pivotal role in collagen synthesis, on top of its reported benefits in treating UV photodamage, it’s a vital addition to any skincare routine. Here are six skin savers that will give you the vitamin C boost you need.

1
Tatcha Violet-C Radiance Mask

It’s always motivating to use products that will make you more beautiful when the packaging itself is gorgeous, too. Contained in this sunset-hued tub is an intensive rinse-off face pack using a base of Tatcha’s geisha-inspired Japanese ingredients — a trifecta of green tea, rice and algae. The mask itself features powerful fruits and botanicals, including a medley of seven fruit extracts that are packed with AHAs (a whopping 10% potency!) for anti-ageing and brightening. More importantly, it includes both water-soluble and oil-soluble vitamin C derivatives that absorb quicker for an immediate glow, and remain in the skin longer for stronger UV-damage repair. It’s finished off with Japanese beautyberry, a superfruit which was found to help stabilise vitamin C.

HK$570 from Joyce Beauty

2
Karuna Vitamin C+ Pearls

Favoured by Hollywood stars, makeup artists and aestheticians alike, Karuna launched its bestselling Vitamin C+ Pearls last summer to great acclaim. Using a unique flash-freeze technology to prevent active vitamin C from oxidising, each pearl is packed with 79% — the highest concentration of the vitamin on the market today. It also only contains three ingredients: ascorbic acid (vit-c), jojoba seed oil and polyquaternium, a common smoothening agent found in conditioners. Drop a few beads of the probiotic-packed serum activator onto the pearl and massage onto tired, thirsty skin at night to help correct uneven skin tone, improve skin brightness and translucency for bouncy, plump and healthy looking skin. Want an extra glowy boost? Grab a box of Karuna’s Brightening+ Face Masks for HK$270.

HK$450 from A Beauty Bar

3
Clinique Fresh Pressed 7-Day System with Pure Vitamin C

A daily vitamin C pick-me-up comes in the form of Clinique’s latest skincare star, featuring a powerful antioxidant booster made for skin that needs a dose of radiant glow. Simply push a button to activate the formula, releasing the 10% Vitamin C powder into a soothing emulsion, and pump out two drops of the stuff to mix with your favourite moisturiser. The 7-Day system also includes seven packs of Fresh Pressed Renewing Powder Cleanser — just mix with water — to prep your skin before using the booster each morning.

HK$235 from Clinique; HK$550 for box of four Fresh Pressed daily boosters.

4
Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Power C X30 Vitamin C Brightening Serum

Using the Camu Camu berry, a potent Amazonian superfruit that touts 30 times more vitamin C than an orange, this concentrated serum packs a punch in brightening skin tone, as well as in improving uneven texture by supporting natural collagen production. Vitamin C from the Camu Camu berry is also meant to be absorbed much easier into the skin due to its low molecular weight — so your skin will just drink it right up. The berry is also rich in vitamins A, D, E as well, and also helps to kick out free radicals.

HK$880 from Peter Thomas Roth at Mannings Derma Unit city-wide or Wing On, 211 Des Voeux Road, Wing On Centre, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 3105 0053; World Trade Center, 280 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2889 8685

5
John Masters Organics Anti-Aging Vitamin C Serum

For dry or mature skin, sometimes you might find that some brightening Vitamin C formulas also come with redness and irritation. But with John Masters Organics’ Anti-Aging Vitamin C Serum, the product comes packed with intense moisturising benefits thanks to algae and rosebud extracts. Here, vitamin C targets signs of ageing like crow’s feet, wrinkles and dull skin, helped along by the enzyme superoxide dismutase and acerola, which fights ageing and environmental damage at the cellular level. The result? A big, citrusy wake-up call for the skin. I used it last week during a particularly bad cold and the uplifting orangey scent did wonders for my chapped (and blocked) nose!

HK$435 from John Masters Organics

6
Antipodes Kiwi Seed Eye Cream

Just reaching Hong Kong shores from the verdant natural haven that is New Zealand, Antipodes has been steadily sweeping the world with its scientific, organic beauty formulas since 2006. The brand particularly champions premium botanical ingredients native to and produced in New Zealand, with a range spanning cleansers to oil serums to luscious body creams. One such product that devoted fans go absolutely nuts over is its signature Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream. Kiwi fruits are packed with loads of vitamin C as it is, and this rich formula particularly helps to repair and target signs of ageing around the eyes. It’s backed by scientific results, too: The cream was shown to stimulate Type I collagen production in human skin cells in-vitro by up to 82%. It’s also ultra-moisturising thanks to carrot seed oil, aloe gel and 100% pure avocado oil.

HK$369 from Watsons city-wide

Evelyn Lok
Managing Editor
When not trying out the latest beauty and wellness trends, Evelyn is likely enjoying a perfectly balanced negroni or exploring some of Hong Kong's best new places to eat and drink. At Lifestyle Asia she covers everything from the biggest events in town to interviews with Hong Kong specialists, with topics spanning art, food and drink, health, tech, and travel.